The 29th edition of the Eisenhower Trophy teed off today in Japan, with Scots Bradley Neil, Grant Foresst and Chris Robb looking to replicate the Scotland side of 2008 that took home the World Amateur Team Championship that year.
Staged in the city of Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture from today until Saturday, the biennial 72-hole Strokeplay event is one of the most prestigious in amateur golf.
As things stand, Neil and Co. are tied tenth after round one, on six-under-par. Grant Forrest made a fantastic start, shooting a four-under 68. Chris Robb also scored well, carding an opening round of two-under-par. This year’s Amateur champion Bradley Neil was level-par for the day.
"We know we can put in a good performance." - Bradley Neil
Six years ago in Australia, Scotland were on top of the world after brilliantly claiming a first ever world title victory thanks to the endeavours of Wallace Booth, Gavin Dear, Callum Macaulay, captained George Crawford.
In that tournament, the Scots triumphed by nine-shots over a USA team featuring PGA Tour winners Rickie Fowler and Billy Horschel, and Jamie Lovemark as well.
This year, Bradley Neil is determined to challenge for the Eisenhower Trophy. A win would cap off a fantastic year for the Blairgowrie man having already been named Scottish Amateur Golfer of the Year and the Scottish Golf Union Men’s Order of Merit winner.
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“Hopefully we can play well this week and contend at the Eisenhower,” said 18-year-old Neil. “We know we can put in a good performance and all three of us, individually, are good players. It’s a question of performing as a team this week.”
Home Nations off to a good start at Eisenhower Trophy
Tied sixth on eight-under, England are the leading UK team after the first round in Japan. Benjamin Stow shot a five-under-par 67, one of the lowest round of the day. Ashley Chesters birdied the last for a score of three-under, and Ryan Evans made a steady even-par start.
Ireland are tied 10th alongside Scotland, with Gavin Moynihan and Gary Hurley shooting three-under 69s. Paul Dunne shot one less, coming in on two-under-par.
The leaderboard after round one doesn’t make as happy reading for the Welsh team. Currently 20th on four-under, Michael Hearne carded a three-under 68, Davis Boote and Rhys Pugh shot one-under opening 70s. However, with 67 teams competing, they won’t feel too aggrieved.